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ARMAĞAN DURDAĞ





Composer

BIography

BIOGRAPHY

The music of Armağan Durdağ embraces a blend which integrates post-minimalist approach with melodic colors of Turkish and Middle Eastern music; and which makes use of atonal world of sound, as well, while reflecting modal and post-romantic tonal structures in traditional instruments of the West, as well as in Turkish music instruments; and which, additionally, uses intensive polyrhythmic textures with an eye to creating meditation effects.

Works of the composer were performed in various cities of Turkey, USA, Poland and Armenia to date. Durdağ made a world-premiere, in Memphis, in May, 2011, under his own conducting, of Bridges of Light, a double-concerto for two alto-saxophones and percussion orchestra, commissioned by Allen Rippe, an American saxophone virtuoso of Israeli origin, for a performance at World Saxophone Convention to be held in ancient city of ST. Andrews, in Scotland, in 2012. Bridges of Light was dedicated to people of two nations who are still losing their beloved ones in the amidst of the Palestinian-Israeli war.

Among his recent commissioned pieces, there is “Panthalassa” which is a symphonic overture written for the symphony orchestra, two zurna (traditional Turkish double reed outdoor wind instrument) and two Ramadan drums (traditional Turkish small bass drum), which is commissioned by the Istanbul Technical University - Turkish Music State Conservatory for the celebration of the 37th anniversary of the conservatory; a cello concerto named “Roxana” dedicated to the Turkish cellist Rahşan Apay, taking its inspiration from one of the greatest emperors of the world, Alexander the Great, while the story is told by his only lawfully wedded wife, the Persian beauty, Roxana; “The Land of the Ignorant” a piece for flute, cello and piano commissioned by the Istanbul Sureyya Opera House, dealing with the frustrations composer experiences in his home country as a living artist; “Katibim” a piece written for soprano and piano after a famous Turkish folk tune which is premiered at the VII. Festival of European Songs in Warsaw, Poland; "In Search of the Orient Sun" a piece for bassoon and piano commissioned by Attilla Kadri Sendil of the Antalya State Conservatory; "Taylan" a piece for clarinet, cello and piano commissioned by Trio Kuvars Viyolet; and "Mother" a piece for the string orchestra commissioned by Orkestra Ankara for the 32nd Ankara International Music Festival held in Ankara, Turkey.

Durdağ also dedicates his time and soul for his special project "New Music for a New World" designed to be performed by Armağan Durdağ Ensemble formed by the composer himself. The first music written for this project is called the "The Land of Colors" which is a 63 minute, 15 movement work, combining Turkish ethnic instruments such as nai, oud, frame drum, kemenche with Western classical instruments such as the piano, string orchestra, percussions, sometimes including electronic music and a singer, using many different texts from the holy books of the three prominent religions, from some mystics having worldwide reputation and from other important people of the world history. Armağan Durdağ Ensemble premiered The Land of Colors on the 28th of November, 2012 in Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall, in Istanbul, Turkey under the baton of Burak Tüzün and the composer himself at the piano. The second music of this project which is called "The Portrait of Freedom" was premiered by the Armağan Durdağ Ensemble on the 28th of December, 2015 in Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall.

Among the performers of the composer are such groups and orchestras as, Istanbul Cemal Reşit Rey Symphony Orchestra, Bursa Region State Symphony Orchestra, Antalya State Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Istanbul, Luna Nova New Music Ensemble, Istanbul Modern Music Ensemble (IMME), Trio Kuvars Viyolet, Orchestra Ankara, Istanbul Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Istanbul and such prominent conductors as Rengim Gökmen, Burak Tüzün, İbrahim Yazıcı, Vladimir Altchuler, Kamran İnce, Hakan Şensoy, Oğuzhan Balcı and such distinguished performers as Allen Rippe, Ece İdil, Rahşan Apay, Cana Gürmen, Bülent Evcil, Jerfi Aji and Sabri Tuluğ Tırpan.

Armağan Durdağ was born in 1981, in Istanbul. Throughout his secondary and high school years, he studied piano and music culture with Mert Bilginer. After graduation from Eyüboğlu High School, he studied jazz, classical, and contemporary music theory, formal analysis, orchestration and Turkish Music theory with Nail Yavuzoğlu. Pursuing his piano studies with Faris Akarsu at Department of Music Technologies of State Conversatory of Turkish Music of ITU (Istanbul Technical University), he entered in 2004, majoring in Sound Recordings, and finished this department as top-performing student. He went to Washington, DC, USA, in the fall of 2008, where he studied piano and composition with Jeffery Watson, and orchestra conducting with A.Scott Wood, at Washington Conservatory of Music. While living there, in April of 2009, he arranged string orchestrations for Faces & Places, a jazz album by Turkish composer and pianist Fahir Atakoğlu nominated as a Grammy-candidate. In recognition of this contribution of his, the artist is currently keeping “Grammy voting membership” right at the Recording Academy which is the organization giving out the Grammy awards.

Finishing his Master’s degree in Composition with support of a full scholarship granted at the University of Memphis, in the USA, between 2009 and 2011, Durdağ studied composition with Kamran İnce and orchestral conducting with Kraig Alan Williams, as well as piano with Sam Viviano, at said institution. Furthermore, he attended masterclasses given by such prominent American composers as Joseph Schwantner, Marc Mellits, Fred Lerdahl, Sophia Serghi, Christopher Trapani and Chris Brubeck.

Durdağ is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition at the University of Arizona, in the USA, with support of a full scholarship, where he studies with composer Daniel Asia. He is also teaching at this institution as a Teaching Assistant.

Armağan Durdağ is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in the USA, and a member of Müzikotek in Turkey; and rights on his works are protected by these institutions.

NEWS

- The Infinite Shades of Purple was premiered by oboist Christian Zatarain at Crowder Hall in Fred Fox School of Music in University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA. January 31, 2016.

- Taylan was performed by Trio Kuvars Viyolet at Notre Dame De Sion High School in Istanbul, Turkey. January 7, 2016.

- Katibim Variations was performed by cellist Rahşan Apay and pianist Jerfi Aji at Erimtan Museum in Ankara, Turkey. January 5, 2016.

- The Portrait of Freedom which is a multi-movement piece of one hour duration, composed as the second work of composer's larger project called "New Music for a New World" was premiered by the Armağan Durdağ Ensemble at Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul, Turkey. December 28, 2015.

- Mother was premiered by the Orchestra Ankara at the 32nd International Ankara Music Festival at MEB Şura Hall in Ankara, Turkey. April 13, 2015.

- Taylan was performed by Trio Kuvars Viyolet at Hekimbaşı Salih Efendi Yalısı in Istanbul, Turkey. March 15, 2015.

- Taylan was premiered by Trio Kuvars Viyolet at Ahmed Adnan Saygun Art Center in İzmir, Turkey. December 23, 2014.

- "Roxana" Cello Concerto was performed by soloist Rahşan Apay and İstanbul Cemal Reşit Rey Symphony Orchestra conducted by Rengim Gökmen at Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul, Turkey. April 29, 2014.

- Bridges of Light was performed by soloists Allen Rippe and Walter Hoehn at the North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) National Conference in Urbana, Illinois, USA. April 22, 2014.

- Katibim Variations was performed by cellist Rahşan Apay and pianist Stephane Blet at Notre Dame De Sion High School in Istanbul, Turkey. February 13, 2014.

- Katibim was premiered by soprano Ece İdil and pianist Metin Ülkü at the VII. Festival of European Songs held at the White Hall, Wilanow Palace in Warsaw, Poland. October 19, 2013.

- The Land of the Ignorant was premiered by flutist Bülent Evcil, cellist Rahşan Apay and pianist Cana Gürmen at Süreyya Opera House in Istanbul, Turkey. May 15, 2013.

- "Roxana" Cello Concerto was performed by soloist Rahşan Apay and Antalya State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Altschuler at Atatürk Culture Center, in Antalya, Turkey. April 12, 2013.

- "Roxana" Cello Concerto was performed by soloist Rahşan Apay and Bursa Region State Symphony Orchestra conducted by İbrahim Yazıcı at Prof. Dr. Mete Cengiz Culture Center of University of Uludağ, in Bursa, Turkey. March 22, 2013.

- "Roxana" Cello Concerto was premiered by soloist Rahşan Apay and Bursa Region State Symphony Orchestra conducted by İbrahim Yazıcı at Atatürk Convention Culture Center, in Bursa, Turkey. March 21, 2013.

- Katibim Variations was performed by cellist Rahşan Apay and pianist Eser Bilgeman Şakir at the concert hall of University of Mersin in Mersin, Turkey. February 23, 2013.

- Katibim Variations was performed by cellist Rahşan Apay and pianist İbrahim Yazıcı at Fulya Sanat Concert Hall in Istanbul, Turkey. January 24, 2013.

- The Land of Colors which is a multi-movement piece of one hour duration, composed as the first work of composer's larger project called "New Music for a New World" was premiered by the Armağan Durdağ Ensemble at Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul, Turkey. November 28, 2012.

- Katibim Variations was performed by cellist Rahşan Apay and pianist Eser Bilgeman Şakir at the Coşkun Kırca Concert Hall of University of Galatasaray in Istanbul, Turkey. March 19, 2012.

- Panthalassa was premiered by Philharmonia Istanbul conducted by Hakan Şensoy at Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul, Turkey. March 3, 2012.

- Durdağ made the symphonic arrangements of 11 pop music pieces sung by many different famous Turkish pop music singers, and performed by Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra under Hakan Şensoy's baton at a special concert organized by Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey (TEGV) to fund for the education of 10,000 students of Turkey. December 12, 2011.

- The Red Sail was performed by the Traveling Notes Festival Orchestra conducted by Jorge Aguirre at the Traveling Notes International Music Festival held in Yerevan, Armenia. August 2011.

- Refractions was performed by a group of musicians conducted by the composer at the Klasik Keyifler Festival held in Cappadocia, Turkey. August 14, 2011.

- Katibim Variations was performed by cellist Rahşan Apay and pianist Sabri Tuluğ Tırpan at the D-Marin Turgutreis International Classical Music Festival held in Bodrum, a county of Muğla in Turkey. July 10, 2011.

- Katibim Variations was performed by cellist Rahşan Apay and pianist Eser Bilgeman Şakir at the Süreyya Opera House, in Istanbul, Turkey. May 9, 2011.

- The Irony of the Full Moon was premiered by the Luna Nova Ensemble in the University of Memphis, Mephis, TN, USA. April 11, 2011.

- Refractions was premiered by an ensemble conducted by Nadya Potemkina at the Harris Hall in the University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, US. April 3, 2011.

- Bridges of Light was premiered by soloists Allen Rippe and Walter Hoehn, and a percussion orchestra conducted by the composer at the Harris Hall in the University of Memphis, in Memphis, TN, USA. March 13, 2011.

- Katibim Variations was performed by cellist Rahşan Apay and pianist Melin Molla at the Caddebostan Culture Center, in Istanbul, Turkey. March 9, 2011.

- Dreams by the Lake of the Pure Mind was performed by the Istanbul Modern Music Ensemble (IMME) conducted by Kamran Ince at Mustafa Kemal Concert Hall in Istanbul Technical University, in Istanbul, Turkey. May 26, 2010.

- Dreams by the Lake of the Pure Mind was premiered by the Contemporary Chamber Players conducted by Kamran Ince at the Harris Hall in the University of Memphis, in Memphis, TN, USA. February 23, 2010.

- Katibim Variations was performed by cellist Rahşan Apay and pianist Artur Avenesov at the Geronty Talalyan 2nd International Music Festival held in Yerevan, Armenia. June 16, 2009.

- Durdağ made 7 string orchestra arrangements for the jazz album "Faces & Places" by Turkish composer and pianist Fahir Atakoğlu which was selected as a candidate for 2009 Grammy Nominations. May 2009.

- Durdağ made the symphonic arrangements, also played keyboards and conducted the orchestra at the special concert organized to celebrate Turkish composer and pianist Fahir Atakoğlu's 25th anniversary in music, where many famous Turkish pop music singers collaborated and sung pieces Atakoğlu had composed for them in years. August 6, 2008.

- Katibim Variations was premiered by cellist Rahşan Apay and pianist Dina Hasanova at Coşkun Kırca Concert Hall in University of Galatasaray, in Istanbul, Turkey. March 9, 2009.

- The Red Sail was premiered by the Orchestra Istanbul conducted by Oğuzhan Balcı at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul, Turkey. December 12, 2007.

- The string orchestra arrangement of the Azerbaijani folk song Deryada Deryalıklar (Iğdır'ın Al Alması) made by the composer was premiered by Istanbul Chamber Orchestra conducted by Hakan Şensoy, at the Caddebostan Culture Center, in Istanbul, Turkey. November 29, 2007.

- Durdağ composed original music for the short film Kayıp/Lost written and directed by Mehmet Caner Bayram. 2007.

- Durdağ composed original music for the short film İz/Print written and directed by Mehmet Caner Bayram. 2006.

- Dream of the Traveler was premiered by the composer at a special concert named as "An Evening of Piano" organized to motivate young pianists of Istanbul Technical University Turkish Music State Conservatory at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall, Istanbul, Turkey. May 15, 2006.

WORKS

The Infinite Shades of Purple, for solo oboe. September, 2015. Duration, 8'30''
Premiere: 1.31.2016 by oboist Christian Zatarain; Crowder Hall, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.

Mother, for string orchestra. March, 2015. Duration, 12'
Dedicated to the memory of Durdağ's mother-in law, Ender Apay, who died after a though disease; to the spiritual bond between her and her daughter, to all mothers that have been lost, and to the motherhood.
Commissioned by Orchestra Ankara for the 32nd International Ankara Music Festival.
Premiere: 04.13.2015 by the Orchestra Ankara, conductor, Alessandro Cedrone; MEB Şura Hall, Ankara, Turkey.

Taylan, for clarinet, cello and piano. December, 2014. Duration, 5'30''.
Dedicated to the memory of composer Taylan Cihan, composer's close friend, who died at the age of 36 in October, 2014.
Commissioned by Trio Kuvars Viyolet.
Premiere: 12.23.2014 by Trio Kuvars Viyolet in Ahmed Adnan Saygun Arts Center, İzmir, Turkey.
Other Performances: 3.15.2015 by Trio Kuvars Viyolet in Hekimbaşı Salih Efendi Yalısı, Istanbul, Turkey.
1.7.2016 by Trio Kuvars Viyolet in Notre Dame De Sion High School in Istanbul, Turkey.

In Search of the Orient Sun, for bassoon and piano. September, 2014. Duration, 5'.
Commissioned by Dr. Attilla Kadri Şendil, Chair of Theory and Composition Department in Antalya State Conservatory, Turkey for the Collaboration of Contemporary Turkish Composers Concert that will be held in two cities of Turkey, Antalya and Ankara, Turkey in May 2015.

Katibim, for soprano and piano. August, 2013. Duration, 10'.
Commissioned by renowned Turkish soprano Ece İdil for the VII. European Songs Festival in Warsaw, Poland.
Premiere: 10.19.2013 by soprano Ece İdil and pianist Metin Ülkü in Wilanow Palace, White Hall, Warsaw, Poland.

The Land of The Ignorant, for flute, cello and piano. April, 2013. Duration, 5'.
Commissioned by the Sureyya Opera House, Istanbul, Turkey.
Premiere: 5.13.2013 by a trio composed of renowned Turkish musicians Bülent Evcil, Rahşan Apay and Cana Gürmen in Sureyya Opera House, Istanbul, Turkey.

"Roxana" Cello Concerto. February, 2013. Duration, 35' (in 3 movements).
Dedicated to Alexander the Great (356 B.C.-323 B.C) and to his only lawfully wedded wife, Roxana; to the special bond between a Western emperor and a Persian beauty.
Commissioned by renowned Turkish cellist Rahsan Apay.
Premiere : 3.21.2013 - Cello, Rahşan Apay; Bursa Region State Symphony Orchestra, conductor, İbrahim Yazıcı; Ataturk Convention & Culture Center Concert Hall, Bursa, Turkey.
Other Performances: 3.22.2013 - Cello, Rahşan Apay; Bursa Region State Symphony Orchestra, conductor, İbrahim Yazıcı; University of Uludağ, Bursa, Turkey.
4.12.2013 - Cello, Rahşan Apay; Antalya State Symphony Orchestra, conductor, Vladimir Altschuler; Ataturk Culture Center Concert Hall, Antalya, Turkey.
4.29.2014 - Cello, Rahşan Apay; Cemal Reşit Rey Symphony Orchestra, conductor, Rengim Gökmen; Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall, Istanbul, Turkey.

The Land of Colors. October&November, 2012. Duration: 63' (in 15 movements)
For Armağan Durdağ Ensemble including various traditional Turkish music instruments (ney/nai flute, classical kemenche -bowed instrument played with fingernails, oud -fretless plucked instrument similar to European lute), string orchestra, piano, voice, Eastern & Western percussions, and electronics.
Composed as the 1st part of a larger music project called "New Music for a New World" created by the composer.*
Commissioned as a concert project by the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall, Istanbul, Turkey.
Premiere: 11.28.2012 by Armağan Durdağ Ensemble, conductor, Burak Tüzün; Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall, Istanbul, Turkey.

Panthalassa. April, 2012. Duration, 10'.
Symphonic overture for two zurna (Very loud traditional Turkish outdoor reed instrument), two Ramadan drums (traditional Turkish village drum) and symphony orchestra.
Commisioned for the celebration of 37th anniversary of Istanbul Technical University, Turkish Music State Conservatory by the conservatory directorate.
Premiere: 3.3.2012 by the Philharmonia Istanbul, conductor, Hakan Şensoy; CRR Concert Hall, Istanbul, Turkey.

Bridges of Light, concerto for two alto saxophones, percussion orchestra (Timpani, Marimba, Vibraphone, various smaller percussion instruments, Middle Eastern percussions such as Darbuka, Bendir, Finger Cymbals, Riq), Double Bass.
October, 2010 - April, 2011. Duration, 26' (in 3 movements).
Commissioned by Allen Rippe & Walter F. Hoehn for the 2012 World Saxophone Congress in Scotland.

Premiere: 5.13.2011 by said commissioners and the University of Memphis percussion players. Conductor, Armağan Durdağ; Harris Hall, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA.
Other Performances: 3.22.2014; by said commissioners and NASA Percussion Players; North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) national conference in Urbana, Illinois, USA.

Irony of the Full Moon, for bass clarinet, horn, piano and violin. February, 2011. Duration, 4'.
Premiere: 4.11.2011 - Luna Nova Music Ensemble, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA.

Refractions, for clarinet, piano, violin, viola and cello.
Mvt.I&III April, 2010; Mvt.II&IV March, 2011. Duration, 6'.
Premiere: 4.3.2011 by a student ensemble at the University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA.
Other Performances: 8.14.2011, KK Festival Ensemble; conductor, Armağan Durdağ; Klasik Keyifler Festival, Cappadoccia, Turkey.

Dreams by the Lake of the Pure Mind, for flute, clarinet, marimba, piano, violin and cello. January, 2010. Duration, 7'.
Premiere: 2.23.2010 by Contemporary Chamber Players, conductor, Kamran Ince, at the University of Memphis, Memphis,TN, USA.
Other Performances: 5.26.2010 by Istanbul Modern Music Ensemble, conductor, Kamran Ince, at the Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey.

The Muse of Silence, for flute, clarinet, percussion, marimba, piano, violin and cello. January, 2009. Duration, 5'

'Katibim' Variations, for cello and piano. Nov, 2008. Duration, 9'
Premiere: 3.9.2008 - Cello, Rahşan Apay; piano, Dina Hasanova; University of Galatasaray, Istanbul, Turkey.
Other Performances: Various performances in different cities of Turkey and Armenia, performed by cellist Rahşan Apay, and pianists Melin Molla, Eser Bilgeman Şakir (3 times), Sabri Tuluğ Tırpan, İbrahim Yazıcı, Stéphane Blét, Artur Avenesov and Jerfi Aji.

The Red Sail, for string orchestra. December, 2007. Duration, 9'.
Commissioned by Oğuzhan Balcı, founder of Orchestra Istanbul.
Premiere: 12.12.2007 by the Orchestra Istanbul; conductor, Oğuzhan Balcı; CRR Concert Hall, Istanbul, Turkey.
Other Performances: August, 2011 by the Youth Orchestra of TN Festival; conductor, Jorge Aguirre; Traveling Notes International Music Festival, Yerevan, Armenia.

Deryada Deryalıklar, “The Sea And Its Belongings” (arrangement of an Azerbaijani folk song) for string orchestra.
Premiered by the Istanbul Chamber Orchestra, conductor Hakan Şensoy; at the Caddebostan Kultur Merkezi, Istanbul, Turkey.

Performances

  • 28 Dec

    Armağan Durdağ Ensemble

    CRR Konser Salonu, Şişli

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